2015 Tel Aviv bus stabbing attack

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2015 Tel Aviv attacks
LocationTel Aviv, Israel
Date21 January 2015
c. 7:30 a.m.
Attack type
stabbing
WeaponsKnife
Deaths0
Injured13 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorHamza Muhammad Hassan Matrouk
MotiveIslamic extremism

During the morning rush hour of January 21, 2015, a Palestinian man from Tulkarm, West Bank boarded a bus in Tel Aviv and stabbed multiple persons a terrorist attack.[1][2][3][4] After the bus he boarded had driven about 400 metres, the Palestinian attacked the driver, who fought back, before turning to other passengers and attacking them. The bus stopped, with the passengers fleeing, and the Palestinian attacked others too. Israeli police shot the terrorist in the foot and arrested him.[2]

Twelve people were injured in the attack.[5]

Attacks[edit]

At 7:30 am the assailant boarded a bus in Tel Aviv about 7:30 a.m. and rode two stops before attacking the driver with a knife. The driver, Herzl Biton, fought back, using pepper spray.[6] The assailant attacked a number of passengers with the knife before they were able to open the doors of the bus and flee.[7] The assailant pursued the fleeing passengers, stabbing one a second time, before he attempted to flee the scene.[6]

As the assailant attempted to run away, bystanders who happened to be employees of the Israeli prison system gave chase, firing into the air.[7] When the fleeing assailant did not stop, they shot him in the legs and captured him.[7]

Perpetrator[edit]

The stabbing attack was carried out by Hamza Muhammad Hassan Matrouk, (23) an illegal immigrant worker from Al Jib in the .[5] His parents are divorced and his father resides in Tulkarem.[5][8]

Residents of Tulkarem who knew the suspect stated that he was not affiliated with any political party.[9]

Trial and sentencing[edit]

Matrouk was a "lone wolf" who told the court that he had been motivated by watching radical Islamic programs on TV; he spoke of, “reaching paradise.”[10][5]

Noting that the suspect was unrepentant and showed no empathy for his victims, Judge Yaron Levi, of the Tel Aviv District court sentenced Matrouk to 28 years in prison.[10]

Context[edit]

Ths stabbing was the first violent incident in Tel Aviv since the November 2014 Killing of Sergeant Almog Shiloni.[9]

The New York Times characterized this attack as representing a new category of threat to Israelis, "attacks carried out with seeming spontaneity by individuals acting without the instruction or backing of an organization."[5]

Response[edit]

Hamas leaders praised the attack,[11] calling it a, "natural reaction" on the part of an occupied people. Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook said, "there is no bigger terrorism than occupying people, stealing their lands, freedom and dignity."[9]

The Popular Resistance Committees responded by asserting that, "Resistance attacks will not stop."[9]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the attack as a direct result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority of president Mahmoud Abbas, "The attack in Tel Aviv is a direct result of poisonous incitement from the Palestinian Authority towards Jews and their state. This is the same terror which tried to harm us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere."

The hashtag #JeSuisCouteau ('I am a knife') and an Arabic translated by the newspaper Haaretz as "#TheKnivesRevolution" instantly spread across the internet in support of the kniving attack on Israeli bus passengers. In addition, many people posted images of knives dripping with blood on social media and called for more attacks on Israelis.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Booth, Jenny (21 January 2015). "Schoolboy threw bag at knifeman during Tel Aviv bus attack". The Times. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Hartman, Ben (21 January 2015). "Palestinian terrorist stabs 12 aboard crowded Tel Aviv bus". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b "'I am a knife' hashtag supports bus terror attack in Tel Aviv". Haaretz. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  4. ^ Khoury, Jack (21 January 2015). "Tel Aviv Bus Terrorist Says He Was Motivated by Gaza War, Temple Mount, Martyrdom". Haaretz. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kershner, Isabel (22 January 2015). "Opening His Mother's Clothing Shop, and Then Heading to Tel Aviv for a Rampage". New York Times. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b Kewis, Avi (19 February 2015). "Tel Aviv bus stabber who injured 17 indicted". Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Kershner, Isabel (21 January 2015). "Stabbing on Tel Aviv Bus Breaks a Fragile Calm". New York Times. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Israel bus attack: Tel Aviv passengers stabbed". BBC. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d "12 injured in Tel Aviv stab attack by Palestinian". Ma'an. AFP and Ma'an staff. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b Beck, Jonathan (20 July 2015). "Tel Aviv bus stabber sentenced to 28 years in jail". Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  11. ^ Levinson, Chaim (21 January 2015). "12 Israelis wounded in stabbing attack on Tel Aviv bus". Haaretz. Retrieved 29 July 2015.